NY Times bestselling author/filmmaker Ian Halperin specializes in undercover investigations. He is the author of seven bestselling books and has directed three films, including the highly acclaimed documentary The Cobain Case. Halperin has appeared on hundreds of TV/radio shows including Dateline, Anderson Cooper, Howard Stern, Geraldo Rivera and The CBS Early Morning Show. He is a native of St. Laurent and attended Dawson College and Concordia with me.
I read his very popular blog on a regular basis and I would like to thank him for the kind words he gave to me which you can read here.
I had the pleasure of being interviewed on CTV Montreal January 16 about the station’s 50th anniversary.
In its day, CFCF TV was known for much more than its newscasts. A lot of original programming came out of its Park Extension headquarters at 405 Ogilvy Avenue: Mr. Chips, The Tapp Room, Flashback, Kin to Win, McGowan’s Montreal, Travel Travel, Fighting Back, Sportsnight, The Habs This Week, Grand Prix Wrestling, Magic Tom, As It Is and much more. There was even an attempt to have The Q 92.5 FM morning man Aaron Rand to his then side kick Tasso Patsikakis (Paul Zakaib) host their own late night comedy show a la Letterman and Leno.
Today, known as CTV Montreal, the station’s programming is limited to an outstanding newscast which airs three times weekly and twice on weekends. This week longtime co-anchor Bill Haugland is being reunited with sportscaster Dick Irvin and weather forecaster and program host Don McGowan. At www.ctvmontreal.ca there is a wealth of nostalgia to view.
These days the CTV Montreal newscast is overseen by news and public affairs director Jed Kahane and executive producer Barry Wilson. They work with a large crew of researcher, producers, camera operators and many others.
Mutsumi Takahashi has been the co-anchor for 24 years now. She is joined by the smooth Todd van der hayden while Debra Arbec handles late night and Tarah Schwartz and Paul Karwatsky do weekends. Lori Graham delivers the weather, with Lise McAuley covering weekends, and Brian Wilde, Randy Tieman, André Corbeil and occasionally Paul Graif handle sports. The reporting team includes Annie DeMelt, Stéphane Giroux, Maya Johnson, Tania Krywiak, Christine Long and Mose Persico (entertainment), Kai Nagata (Quebec City), Aphrodite Salas, Cindy Sherwin, Anne Lewis and Caroline Vlan Vlaardingen. Behind the scenes there are people like assignment editor Amy Fernandez and researchers Peter Schiavi and Holly Haimerl.
And whom can we remember from newscasts past? There are Herb Luft, Brian Britt, Robert Vairo, Lynn Desjardins, Joe Singerman, Andrew Marquis, Mike Donegan, Mike Piperni, Liz Travers, Sandy Krawchenko, Bob Benedetti, Ron Francis, Brian MacGorman, John Grant, Ralph Noseworthy, Frank Cavallaro, Brian Nelson, Leslie Roberts, Brian MacFarland, Ken Ernhoffer, Howard Schwartz, Rob Faulds, Jack Curran, Suzanne Desautels, Jeannie Lee, Tom Velk, Ron Reusch Dr. Mitch Shulman, Del Archer and many more. Whom have I missed? Let me know by email at [email protected]
I have received a lot of amazing feedback to this posting.
Here is what Del Archer had to share:
"I arrived in Montreal from Vancouver on the weekend Pierre LaPorte's body was found in the trunk of his car. I had listened to the coverage while driving across Canada, spent that night in a motel on the Ontario side of the border and saw the military roadblocks set up on the westbound (Quebec) side as I was driving east. I had no idea what I'd gotten myself into but it was an amazing time to be in the province. I met with Bert Cannings and Mike Donegan on the Monday and was on air the same day. I stayed with 'CF for seven years, moving over to the television side in about 1973 as a reporter and later became a fill-in anchor for Andrew Marquis. The night of the Parti Quebecois election, I was offered the opportunity to join CTV network News and I remained there for the next 23 and a half years. Montreal in the 70's was an exciting, LIVING, storybook with a new chapter virtually every day and I loved every minute of it. Thanks for giving me the chance to add my name to your list." See my story on page 40 in this January 19 edition of The Suburban Newspaper.
I am very excited with the arrival of the first digital sign in the history of Côte Saint-Luc.
Digital signage has arrived in the city of Côte Saint-Luc. An attractive four by seven full colour and weatherproof LED display was installed last week at the corner of Cavendish Boulevard and Kildare Road.
This is an initiative of Kazoo Digital, which already provides digital signage Solutions for retailers, medical and dental clinics, and corporate offices with the use of in house digital display systems. Company president Howard Szalavetz notes that this agreement reached with Côte Saint-Luc marks the first outdoor sign.
Messages appearing on the sign represent a combination of city announcements and advisories and paid advertisements. Szalavetz states that a number of inquiries from community organizations and businesses have already been received. “We chose Cavendish as the first location for many reasons,” says Szalavetz. “First and foremost, it is the gateway to Côte Saint-Luc. The screen is also placed in such a manner that the messages are able to be read quite clearly while vehicles are stopped at the traffic lights.”
Szalavetz notes that plans call for at least two more digital signs to be installed in Côte Saint-Luc. As part of its agreement with the city, Côte Saint-Luc has the right to veto any advertiser they do not feel would be appropriate. Messages will run on a continuous two minute and eight second loop – 16 ads per loop.
“Advertisements on digital signs are proven to have a higher consumer recall than those of static mediums such as billboards and bus shelters” says Szalavetz. “They help increase sales and customer satisfaction. Our advertisers find that a few strategically placed advertisements on digital signage displays pay for themselves in just a few months.”
For more than four decades my father, Lawrence Frederick Cohen (a.k.a. Larry Fredericks), worked for radio stations CKVL AM and CKOI FM (originally CKVL FM). He began his career as a radio announcer and eventually found himself in the accounting department when CKVL went from an English to a French station. For most of this time CKVL was owned by the Tietolman family. They sold the AM and FM stations to the two Pierres – Arcand and Beland – who eventually purchased a number of other outlets and sold out to media entertainment giant Corus Entertainment.
Jack Tietolman was the patriarch of the family. Two of his sons, Maurice and Paul, were also involved with the operation. I have seen Paul often over the last few years. His beautiful daughter married one of my neighbours and she is now a constituent of mine in my city council life.
Whenever we meet, even as he danced at his daughter’s wedding, Paul told that the day would come for him to return to the local radio scene. On the evening of June 7 I received a telephone call. “Mike, this is Paul Tietolman,” he began. “I told you I would contact you when I had news. Well I have news. Be at the law firm of Fasken Martineau Walker at 10:30 tomorrow morning. I am holding a press conference.” “Are you going to bring the 940 AM dial back to life?” I asked.
“See you tomorrow Mike,” Paul said softly.
Well Paul did indeed have a blockbuster announcement. Not only has he established Tietolman Tétrault Media with noted entrepreneur and former Montreal city councillor Nicolas Tétrault (above left), but the duo have put together an offer of $81 million to purchase the 11 Quebec radio stations owned by Corus. These include Q 92.5 FM, CKOI. CHMP 98.5 FM and CKAC 730 AM in Montreal; CFOM FM and CFEL FM in Quebec City; CHLN FM in Trois-Rivieres; CIME FM in St. Jérome; CJRC in Gatineau; and CHLT and CKOY FM in Sherbrooke. For an additional sum of money, they have also offered to purchase the Saguenay station (CKRS FM) currently owned by Corus, along with the equipment and facilities that were used for the activities of AM 690 and 940 AM stations before they were shut down in March.
Cogeco Media recently signed an agreement with Corus. to acquire its Quebec radio stations for $80 million in cash, subject to customary closing adjustments and conditions, including approval by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC). Tietolman said he and Tétrault have been working on their proposal for a year and a half, including obtaining the necessary financial backing and partners. He believes the CRTC has to view his proposal as a superior one to that of Cogeco.
“It preserves the jobs associated with 11 radio stations contemplated by the offer,” Tietolman said. “It ensures the continued operations of the Saguenay station and it will re-launch the activities of AM 690 and 940 AM.”
For me, that was the most significant announcement of the press conference. Even if the CRTC chooses Cogeco over Tietolman Tétrault, it appears almost definite that we will get another English language radio station back on the air. Let’s remember that 940 was originally at the AM 600 dial and know as CFCF Radio as in Canada’s First, Canada’s Finest. Corus let it die a slow death by changing its news and talk f format to oldies.
Tietolman would not confirm what formats he has in mind to revive 940 and 690. “When you hear the concept you will be floored,” he said. “Nobody in the country is doing this and once we get started, you will see it replicated in the top 50 markets in the USA. Right now 940 and 690 look like the weakest chain in the link of stations we intend to own. They will end up being the strongest. Just watch!” I asked Tietolman if there is hope for us to see the radio voices we so much miss, folks like Peter Anthony Holder, Kevin Holden, Kathy Coulombe, Suzanne Desautels and even Paul “Tasso Patsikakis” Zakabe. Yes, he said, the format would be amenable to some of these personalities getting back on radio. But in a statement Tuesday, Corus said the stations are no longer up for grabs: “Corus has entered into a binding agreement with Cogeco which is subject only to the usual regulatory approvals. Therefore we are not in a position to consider any other offers at this time.” Well let us hope the CRTC says otherwise.
Bravo to Tietolman and Tétrault. Let’s hope they succeed.
Popular radio personality Ted Bird will indeed be back on the airwaves. I have now had it confirmed by a number of reliable sources that Bird will join K103.7 FM in Kahnawake as part of the new Ted, Java and Paul morning show beginning Monday, April 19 from 5:30 a.m. to 10 a.m. Paul is sportscaster Paul Graif and Java is incumbent wakeup guy James "Java" Jacobs.
Meanwhile, this just in. "Sir" Patrick Charles is no longer part of the Virgin Radio 96 FM morning show. He is apparently being moved to a behind the scenes role with Virgin and CHOM. He will be part of the Andrew Carter morning show at 8:20 a.m. weekdays, talking entertainment.
Sir Patrick effectively replaced Murray Sherriffs on the Virgin morning show with Lisa Player and Cat Spencer when the station said they needed to zero in on a younger demographic. He was great to listen to, adding very creative humour to the program. Finally, Mark Bergman will step away as host of Virgin's drive home The Rush Show in June. His replacement will be Vince "Cousin Vinny" Barrucco.
If my sources are correct, then popular radio personality Ted Bird will be back on the air soon. Bird quit the CHOM FM morning show in January and he has received a great deal of exposure since that time. Last week his contract with Astral Radio came to an end and he wasted little time on his Bird droppings blog knocking his former employers. He even indicated that they offered him a chance to rejoin the company in a reduced capacity. While Ted has resurfaced in the media with an entertaining Monday night commentary on the CTV News sportscasts, it looks like radio listeners will soon be able to get their Bird fix - but at an unlikely spot on the dial.
I am told that an announcement wll be made on Monday that he will join the morning show at K103.7 FM Kahnawake. The 250 watt station can be heard fairly well on the Island of Montreal, plus their website - www.k103fmradio.com - streams live. Sportscaster Paul Graif recently joined the on air staff. Bringing Bird aboard would be a signal tthat they really want to play with the big boys.
There had been talk that Bird was a candidate for the vacant CBC Radio 1 88.5 FM morning slot, made available when Nancy Wood was told she would not stay on beyond June. Wood went on leave soon after getting the bad news and some felt that CBC might make a bold move and bring in a big name like Bird.
From the time it went on the air I have been a huge fan of THE TEAM 990, Montreal’s all-sports radio station. Their programming is excellent. Elliott Price, Denis Casavant and Shaun Starr are a great wakeup crew. Tony Marinaro is fabulous to listen and knows his hockey better than anybody. Old pro Randy Tieman of CTV Sports has been a solid addition to the regular lineup, but what can we say about Mitch Melnick and his entourage of Rod Francis, Andie Bennett, Pierre Macguire, Stephen Brunt and a cast of other regulars?
The City of Côte Saint-Luc can take pride in THE TEAM as well. One of our own residents, Matthew Ross, has been hosting the popular Game Points program since the fall of 2004. A marketing and communications professional, Matthew has been working in media and marketing for over seven years. Some national television shows such as TSN’s Off The Record have recognized his talent and had him as a guest. He has been published in the National Post and The Montreal Gazette and once reported for The Suburban. Since March 2008, Matthew has also been operating ContentServicing.com, a content and communications company, providing copywriting, PR and other media and marketing services.
I urge you to listen to Game Points, which airs Tuesday nights from 11p.m. to 1 a.m. and Sunday nights from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. (during Major League Baseball season). Matthew brings esteemed analysts from around North America to the listener, offering a different point of view on the same old stories. Plus, get the full gamut of coverage as he takes you through what's going on in all of the major sports (except soccer!).
Here is a clip from my recent appearance on Game Points. Please right click and press open to hear:
Robert Cutler and Michael Wagen reside in Hampstead. Paul Cutler, Rob's brother, lives in Westmount. These three very sharp gentlemen run Delmar Internationaland they are also implicated in many community causes. I am very proud once again to be working with Wagen on the March 28 Golden Age of Sports Celebrity Breakfast at the Cummings Jewish Centre for Seniors. He is the event chair.
A lot of people have been asking me about the recent changes at CJAD. Well, as I wrote on a previous blog entry the dismissal of Peter Anthony Holder, Kevin Holden and Kathy Coulombe is just part of being in the radio business. It is a job which does not come with a lot of security. On Monday, another big change will come into effect as news and program director Mike Bendixen (pictured below) departs for Toronto. He is returning to CFRB, where he worked before being summoned to CJAD four years ago as a 26 year old unknown. Mike has been named interim program director there.
"Mike has done a incredible job with the reinvention CJAD," Astral Radio Montreal Operations Boss Bob Harris told me.
I wish Mike well. We met soon after he arrived in the city and whether it was my job at the school board, columns for The Suburban or as a Côte Saint-Luc city councillor he was always there to chat over the phone or meet for coffee. We last spoke two weeks ago when I requested that the Andrew Carter morning show broadcast live for the fourth year in a row from one of my EMSB schools. He agreed immediately and Andrew and the team will be at Edinburgh in Montreal West. Mike will be missed. His replacement will be named soon. More to come in Wednesday`s Suburban.